IRESS Enhances XPLAN's Social Capabilities
What part should social media play in the practices of financial planners and advisers? With some 90% of Australians online, practitioners no longer question the importance of the Internet itself, but the value of social media is not as well recognised. That attitude may be changing, however.
Facebook, for example, counts 11,000,000 Australians among its members, a number that amounts to half the country’s population. With that kind of reach, “new technologies and social media are becoming less of a fad and more of an essential business tool,” according to Hillross Managing Director Hugh Humphrey, speaking to Money Management magazine.
In response to that change, IRESS has enhanced the social media capabilities of the latest iteration of its XPLAN system. Social media first appeared in XPLAN 2.1, which was released at the end of 2011, but a new version enhances the product by giving advisers a window into a client’s entire online social world.
Before the new version’s release, it was difficult to deal with the sheer volume of information flowing through social channels, according to IRESS Senior Business Development Executive Michael Kinens. IRESS says that the latest release “allows advisers to see a complete history of everything their clients have tweeted, posted or blogged via various social media networks from within the client record in XPLAN.”
Provided an adviser has already established an online social relationship with the client, XPLAN incorporates social information into a customisable “Client Dashboard” within the system. At the same time, advisers can access social media for their own purposes through the system. According to Kinens, “Rather than having to go to each individual site, they can post, tweet or blog directly from XPLAN.”
“That’s a great step forward in terms of efficiency,” he added.
Kinens points to the story of David Rae as an example of the potential power of social media for advisers. A tweet from one of Rae’s clients alerted Rae, a financial adviser in Canberra, to the fact that a client’s daughter had a serious disease. Rae followed a link to the client’s Tumblr account, where he learned more about the situation. As it happens, the client had updated his policy a year earlier to include child trauma cover, but he had been unaware of that cover until Rae made contact. Rae was able to begin the claims process immediately, something that might not have happened so quickly had it not been for social media.